Nephew of Tatarstan president becomes person of interest in cartel case

Nephew of Tatarstan president becomes person of interest in cartel case
Vasil Gizzatullin and Azat Minnikhanov

The director of the republic’s largest state institution for logging received contracts worth 713.7 million ($ 11 million).

The Federal Antimonopoly Service launched a probe into the cartel agreement, in which Vasil Gizzatullin, the director of Tatarstan’s largest state institution for logging, and the nephew of the president of the republic, Azat Minnikhanov, may be involved. The trial will take place on May 23, the service reports. The signs of antitrust laws violation were revealed by the Yabloko party’s Center of Anti-Corruption Policy.

According to the Center, Sabinsky Leskhoz LLC and Sabinskiye Lesa LLC took part in most purchases of the Ministry of Agriculture of Tatarstan and received 22 contracts for a total of 713.7 million rubles ($ 11 million). At the same time, at the auction, the initial price fell by an average of 0.05%, when, in case other companies participated in the competition, the budget saved up to 20%. 

The Sabinsky Leskhoz LLC and Sabinskiye Lesa LLC have the common telephone number and e-mail address. In 2013, the director of latter, Hazi Faizrakhmanov, worked as an engineer in the Sabinsky forest area, that is, he was a subordinate of Gizzatullin, the owner of Sabinsky Leskhoz and the head of the state public institution Sabinsky Lesnichestvo (Sabinsk Forestry). Sabinskiye Lesa supplies fuel pellets, produced by the Sabinsky Leskhoz, to the Forestry.

The Deputy Director for Commercial Issues of the Sabinsky Leskhoz is the nephew of the President of Tatarstan – the deputy of the Meshinsky rural settlement, Azat Minnikhanov. Fayzrakhmanov, Gizzatullin and the head of the Sabinsky District, Rais Minnikhanov, the brother of the president of Tatarstan, are members of the Board of Directors of the joint-stock company Sabinsky Leskhoz.

According to the Yabloko’s Center, some of Gizzatullin’s business partners are hidden in offshore areas and became defendants in criminal cases, while Gizzatulin himself has indicated false information in his income statements. His incomes and the fortune of his family diverge by 28 million rubles ($ 432,000), and the state official manages not only the state institution, but also eight more private organizations in the same sphere.

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